We’re glad to announce that New York City, United States-based alternative rock band The Jones Title have released a new track, entitled “Birkenhead.”
The Jones Title is Brian Detlefs (vocals, guitar), Joey Vaughn (vocals, guitar), Roger Mulligan (vocals, bass), and Justin Gray (drums, sound design). As a band, The Jones Title have been making music together for about 3 years. Starting out jamming, the band members didn’t think that they’d morph those jams into a full body of work that would ultimately make up an entire album, and were a little bit weary of each other considering the different influences the band members all had. But musically, their sound is quite coherent, and the band members have all been pleasantly surprised at where their project landed.
During the pandemic, The Jones Title started demo-ing the songs they’d already written, and it became vividly clear that what was important and enjoyable to them was creating music together. When they were finally able to get back into a room together and pick up the songs they’d written pre-covid, The Jones Title became a sort of lifeboat; the sessions were something to look forward to before going back to dreary reality, and it became surprisingly easy to shut out the rest of the world, focusing instead on what they wanted to say without the pressure of a release date or showcasing anything. Realizing that all that was in it for them was to play, writing and playing came easily and naturally for the four band members, and the process remained purely focused on their rehearsal evenings.
The Jones Title’s first EP, Birkenhead, is made up of 3 songs that they’ve been playing for 3 years, and one that they wrote while Birkenhead started to come together. The Jones Title have spent the last year recording together, and this collection is just the first of several on the horizon. In many ways, the Birkenhead EP is a bold leap towards realizing the full vision of the project, and it’s fitting that we start with the title track that has motivated the whole thing. “The titular song for the EP developed really organically, as a statement not just for the EP but the whole recording project. We began recording these songs nearly a year ago, at a time when everyone’s place in the world felt especially precarious. We were all dealing with a lot of change, both in our personal lives and in our relationship as a band. So when we stumbled onto the term ‘Birkenhead Drill,’ we all sort of latched onto this sense of purpose that it invoked in us,” the band says.
Describing the creative process behind “Birkenhead,” The Jones Title write:
“The song itself came into being during a warm up for a rehearsal. Roger happened to find this vaguely Radioheadesque (Radiodeadian? Radioheadite? Radioheteronormative…there we go) bass line that felt like a response to ‘National Anthem.’ Justin fell into this really tight 6/8 pocket, and got intensely focused on the placement and tone of his cymbals. Brian began building in a beautiful, finger-picking layer, while Joey explored this gorgeous E Bow tone that so perfectly captured this inescapable sense of anxiety. We all sat on it for a long time, building this slow and dramatic intro until, like an instinct, we all just sort of fell into the song together. Even the lyrics just sort of came organically, Brian started quietly repeating this refrain of ‘women and children first,’ over the whole thing. There was this incredible sense of release that it brought, like a tidal wave sort of washing everything clean. Violent but cathartic.
The mixing and mastering process was equally cathartic. It really sort of became the benchmark that we aimed for in terms of tone and quality. It set the standard for us. In no small part because of our producer Dave Rosenberg, who really earned his title as our ‘5th member’ with this one. He helped us really understand what the song could be, digging in all the way down to the structural level with us. It’s also just dope to hear someone you really like and respect call your song the ‘favorite thing [he’s] mixed so far.’”
The title track on the Birkenhead EP begins with the siren-like sound of sustained electric guitar feedback, increasing in pitch as the catchy 6/8 rhythms of the bass and drums join in. The guitar then takes on a melodic lead, its fluid lines punctuated by fingerpicked, subtle clean-toned electric guitar notes and later by distorted chords, leading nicely into the first verse. Throughout “Birkenhead”’s compelling verses, the pensive vocals add a nice melodic counterpoint to the guitars and bass; while during the anthemic choruses, they take on a more urgent and emboldened tone, raising the energy level of the track along with sustained distorted chords, before the track ultimately concludes with a dynamic outro that nicely encapsulates the energy of the final chorus in resolution. “Birkenhead” is quite an enjoyable listen throughout, showcasing The Jones Title’s brilliant songwriting and superb musicianship; I would highly recommend this track to fans of alternative rock.
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